LAHORE - Higher prices and enhanced gas curtailment have lowered fertilizer offtake by 22 percent in the first month of 2011 to come down to 540k tons, said the latest fertilizer data released by the National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC). DAP offtake registered a decline of 36 percentYoY in January to 59k tons. This was witnessed on account of high DAP prices and enhanced gas curtailment at FFBLs plant. FFBLs DAP plant has been shut since January 13, 2010. Despite the complete shut down for half the month, FFBL was able to register production of 25k tons as against an offtake of 29k tons in January. Engros offtake on the other hand, stood at 25k tons as the company imported 26k tons of DAP in January. Urea sales too declined due to the enhanced gas curtailment of 12-20 percent. Bilal Qamar, a fertilizer sector expert, said the offtake registered a fall of 28 percent YoY to 394k tons. With regard to major fertilizer manufacturers, FFCs and Engros urea offtake declined by 6 percent YoY and 7 percent YoY, respectively in January, while FFBLs urea plant remained shut since December 26, 2010 due to the countrys gas load management program.